What could be better, on a chilly winter’s afternoon, than going out for an indulgent afternoon tea? An indulgent afternoon tea that comes to you on a cold winter’s day, that’s what!
Sure, we’ve all been spending a little too much time indoors of late, but nothing takes the edge off staring at the same four walls than a hand-delivered four-tiered stand of decadence. Especially when it’s festive themed.
Break out the good tea service, pop your Christmas playlist on Spotify, open the door to a hand-delivered feast of festive patisserie, and suddenly lockdown doesn’t look so bad.
The Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea from The Chesterfield Mayfair is currently available for both home delivery (for postcodes local to the hotel) and collection (for those a little further afield). Part of the Red Carnation hotel group, The Chesterfield Mayfair knows a good afternoon tea.
This Winter Wonderland version features festive favourites like turkey mayonnaise and cranberry sandwiches and chocolate Yule log, as well as The Chesterfield’s bespoke Christmas blend tea. Now I like a good cuppa, and am very partial to an Earl Grey or a good Oolong, but its rarely something I get excited about. This particular blend, however, made with Sri Lankan Ceylon tea, festive spices, apple pieces, cinnamon and cloves, is certainly worth celebrating.
The whole afternoon tea arrives ready to go, carefully placed on a cardboard cake stand and wrapped in a scarlet cardboard sleeve (Red Carnation’s trademark hue conveniently happens to be red), alongside a little cardboard hamper of sandwiches. Recyclable packaging with minimum waste – that’s the first big tick right there.
“It was nice to dust off the ‘good crockery’, sweep the abandoned jigsaw off the dining table and even change out of one’s ‘athleisurewear’ for the occasion”
TV dinners have become a very bad habit for us during lockdown, so it was nice to dust off the ‘good crockery’, sweep the abandoned jigsaw off the dining table and even change out of one’s ‘athleisurewear’ (which I’m ashamed to admit has seen more for ‘leisure’ than ‘ath’ over the last month) for the occasion.
The homemade cakes, scones and pastries, prepared chef pâtissier Tom Coleman, look sensational, with a pistachio and cranberry slice, clementine macaron and a novel chocolate and coffee pot (served in an edible chocolate plant pot) immediately catching the eye.
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But first, the sandwiches. The delicate finger sandwiches are traditional with a twist, made with basil and beetroot breads that add pretty hues to the line up. The turkey mayo and cranberry is cut into a roundel and rolled in chopped nuts around the edges, and is by far my favourite. There’s also pulled ham hock with Brie and spiced apple chutney, egg mayo and watercress, smoked salmon and cream cheese, and cucumber with cream cheese.
There are also freshly baked cranberry scones and chocolate scones, served with tiny pots of homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream. The loose leaf tea also comes in a cute little cannister, along with a number of draw-string tea bags to help you infuse the perfect brew.
The selection of festive pastries, as well as the above, include an adorable gingerbread man cupcake, chocolate Yule log and vanilla Bavarois snowball filled with with apple jelly. Top ranking for me has to be the clementine macaron, pistachio and cranberry slice, and gingerbread man cupcake, but I wasn’t hugely feeling the Bavarois snowball, purely because I’m more of a texture girl (I always leave the soft centres in a box of chocolates, too).
‘The beauty of enjoying an afternoon tea at home is that you can have cake for breakfast’
The beauty of enjoying an afternoon tea at home is that you can languish in your ‘drawing room’ for as long as you like. And should you not quite manage to work your way through the plentiful patisserie, well then you have cake for breakfast, and nobody can judge you for that after this annus horribilis.
But I can’t wait to get back into London’s bars and restaurants for experiences like these as they were originally intended, set in plush surrounds and served with a flourish. After lockdown, you can swing it either way at The Chesterfield Mayfair. Book yourself in for the Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea daily from 3 December until 3 January 2021, or opt for delivery or collection, which will continue for as long as there is demand.
The Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea is £40 per person (plus £10 for delivery to W1, SW1 or SW3 postcodes only). Add a bottle of Lanson champagne from £40. A children’s tea is available for those under 12 years priced £21.50 per child. Vegetarian, gluten-free and Halal options are available.
35 Charles Street, Mayfair W1J 5EB; chesterfieldmayfair.com/afternoon-tea